Saint Matthew

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

Levi, son of Alphaeus, was born in Galilee and was raised as an observant Jew. Why he became a tax collector for the oppressive Roman Empire is anyone’s guess. As a consequence, he was shunned and reviled as a collaborator. In a stunning move, Jesus called him to be one of his disciples, a scene brilliantly and dramatically illustrated by Caravaggio’s ‘The Calling of St Matthew.’ When the ‘culture police’ complained, Jesus pointed out that his job was to reclaim the sinners, since the righteous didn’t need saving. Levi then came to be known as Matthew. Biblical scholars debate whether Levi is the Matthew mentioned in the Bible; whether the Gospel of Matthew was written by Levi or by one of his followers; whether it was written in Aramaic/Hebrew or in Greek; whether or not Matthew died as a martyr. At any rate, Matthew is considered the Apostle to the Jews: visiting Jewish groups in the region around Judea to convince them that Jesus was the Messiah. His Feast Day is October 21.

Foods to eat for Matthew’s Feast Day are Kosher, of course. Early Christian Jews observed the culinary cultural norms and holidays. Except for the tomatoes and Bell peppers, the ingredients would have been available in Judea and Syria in Matthew’s time.

Spinach-Mushroom-Feta Bake: 178 calories 10.7 g fat 1 g fiber 13 g protein 8 g carbs [3.8 g Complex] 214.7 mg Calcium  PB GF — if using GF flour Miri Rotkovitz presented this recipe via thespruceeats.com. It is her ‘dairy meal for Hannukka’. Her version is a dinner pie, complete with an olive oil crust. My version packs a punch of flavor at breakfast. HINT: This recipe makes two servings. The other half of it would be a terrific lunch on another day.

½ tsp olive oil + non-stick spray 2 cloves garlic, chopped = 2 teaspoons 3 oz mushrooms, chopped or diced 3 oz chopped, frozen spinach 2 two-oz eggs 2 Tbsp milk 1-½ teaspoons flour 1-½ oz feta cheese, crumbled   Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait [65 calories] or lemon in hot water 

Thaw the spinach in a sieve to remove extra water. Gently cook the olive oil in the oils until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the water they exude evaporates. Put the feta in a bowl, top with the spinach, then the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms/garlic cool before you stir the vegetables and cheese together. Combine the flour and milk in a small dish and heat in the microwave. Stir together to make a roux. Whisk the roux with the eggs. Put the vegetable-cheese mixture in an oven-proof dish which has been spritzed with non-stick spray. Pour the egg mixture on top and bake at 350 F for 20-23 minutes. All the flavors meld together to create a savory way to start your day.

Felafel with Vegetable Salsa:  205 calories 5 g fat 7.7 g fiber 9 g protein 26.5 g carbs 139 mg Calcium   PB GF V   The felafel recipe is from Molly Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. Perfect for a hot summer day or any day that you need a quick and easy meal.

6 falefel patties ½ cup diced fresh tomatoes ½ cup diced orange or yellow bell peppers 2 Tbsp red onion, chopped 1 Tbsp lemon juice  

Combine the chopped vegetables with the lemon juice. If frozen, warm the felafel. Let the vegetables ‘marry’ while the felafel warms. Plate the felafel and the salad.  Its that easy?!? Yes, it is.

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